How safe is your kitchen floor?

Across the world safety flooring is tested in various ways. You might have heard of the Pendulum Test, which mimics a shod foot slipping across a floor, resulting in a measurement of slip potential. Wet flooring that measures ≥36, which translates to a one in a million chance of slipping, has a low slip risk and all of our safety flooring exceeds this. The contaminant used for this test is water and, in most areas, this is the most common contaminant, making the test robust and reliable test. However, this is definitely not the case for kitchens.

Commercial kitchens can be a dangerous place; contaminants range from greasy water, milk and oil to food particles and flour. Staff tend to be very busy and it’s often not possible to clean as they go. It’s not simply spillages either; hot oil evaporates into the air, cools and settles on the floor, making it hard to see and a constant hazard. The contaminants found in a kitchen are often more dense than water or, in the case of food particles, dry rather than wet. This prevents the foot making contact with the floor and increases the risk of slipping.

A safety floor that performs well in a standard Pendulum or Ramp Test, which is also commonly used, may not cut the mustard when it comes to a real working kitchen with real and varied contaminants, putting staff at risk.

The Ramp Test results in R9-R13 values which are based on the angle at which a person slips while walking on a motor-oil covered ramp. We quote R values for our products because some of our customers are used to working with them but we don’t believe this test gives a clear enough indication of slip resistance. Starting at a high number, an R9 value appears as though it offers good slip resistance but it actually indicates the least slip resistance. In short, it’s confusing. For more information on testing please visit our testing and measuring section. Anyway, back to kitchens.

Altro Stronghold 30, which measures PTV ≥55, was developed specifically for areas where grease, oils and fats may be present, such as kitchens, canteens and food preparation areas. We decided that it wasn’t enough to use the standard Pendulum Test, which uses water, nor the Ramp Test, which uses motor oil, and carried out our own tests using contaminants that would actually be found in kitchens. *

The results show that flooring with a Ramp Test value of less than R12 cannot prevent slips when vegetable oil or greasy water is present; the risk of slipping is reduced to one in 20, even when the Pendulum Test result is ≥36.

 

Altro Stronghold 30 R12
PTV ≥55

R11
PTV ≥45

R10
PTV ≥36

Water 1 in a million 1 in a million 1 in a million
Vegetable Oil 1 in a million 1 in 100,000 1 in 20
Greasy water 1 in a million 1 in 100,000 1 in 20
Milk 1 in a million 1 in a million 1 in a million
Flour 1 in a million 1 in a million 1 in a million
Plastic wrapping 1 in a million 1 in a million 1 in a million

It makes you think. In kitchens used for preparing food, floors with PTV≥36, our expert opinion is that R10 is not recommended. Your chosen flooring needs to be able to perform against wet and dry contaminants and you need to be confident that it provides sustained lifetime slip resistance rather than a coating that will wear away. Not all safety flooring is as safe as Altro’s.

Altro Stronghold 30 safety flooring gives you peace of mind, allowing you to keep up with the pace of your business without having to compromise on safety.

*Slip resistance tests carried out with slider 96. BRE Building Elements – Floors and Flooring.  Pye & Harrison 2003.
 

Posted: 06/07/2015 15:50:55 by Chris Edwards-Thorne | with 0 comments